Can I deduct the sales tax from a used car I purchased in July 2012?

I read somewhere that the sales tax for a vehicle purchase in 2012 was not extended during the recent Fiscal Cliff legislation. If this in untrue, how would I go about deducting the sales tax and registration fees of this new although used automobile I purchased in July 2012?
You can deduct sales tax on a new or used car or boat but, if you live in a state with a state income tax, it probably isn't to your advantage to do so.  To claim sales taxes on a vehicle or boat you need to meet two criteria:

1.  You must itemize deductions, and
2.  Your sales tax deduction, including the sales tax on the vehicle must exceed your state income tax.  

If you claim the standard deduction, you cannot deduct sales taxes..  The legislation that permitted a deduction of sales taxes on a new auto in addition to the standard deduction was only for new vehicles purchased from Feb. 17, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2009.  It was not part of the "Bush Tax Cuts" and, consequently, when those cuts got extended they did not include extending this provision.  See,,id=204519,00.html for the dates.

The deduction for sales tax is under the deductions and credits tab.
  • Thank you!
  • We purchased a boat and car in NJ.  I filled in the sales tax paid on each, and turbotax shows zero deduction for the boat.   Why isn't the sales tax for the boat included as a deduction?
  • I'm not familiar with NJ sales tax, but is it at a different rate on boats (it's common in some jurisdictions that it is.)  The statute provides that to be a general sales tax, it must tax all items at the same rate.  The only exception in the statute [Sec. 164(b)(5)(C)] is for "food, clothing, medical supplies, and motor vehicles."  Sales taxes are not deductible for any other item not taxed at the general sales tax rate.
  • 7% sales tax applies to both.
Where do I add sales for auto

The deduction for sales tax is under the deductions and credits tab.  Go to:
  • Deductions and Credits
  •  Estimates and Other Taxes Paid
  •  Sales Tax.
  • Click Update next to Sales Tax.
  • Click Continue.
  • Select Easy Guide
  • Click Edit next to your sales tax rate.
  • Click Continue twice and you will then be on the page where you enter your car or other major purchases.

Contribute an answer

People come to TurboTax AnswerXchange for help and answers—we want to let them know that we're here to listen and share our knowledge. We do that with the style and format of our responses. Here are five guidelines:

  1. Keep it conversational. When answering questions, write like you speak. Imagine you're explaining something to a trusted friend, using simple, everyday language. Avoid jargon and technical terms when possible. When no other word will do, explain technical terms in plain English.
  2. Be clear and state the answer right up front. Ask yourself what specific information the person really needs and then provide it. Stick to the topic and avoid unnecessary details. Break information down into a numbered or bulleted list and highlight the most important details in bold.
  3. Be concise. Aim for no more than two short sentences in a paragraph, and try to keep paragraphs to two lines. A wall of text can look intimidating and many won't read it, so break it up. It's okay to link to other resources for more details, but avoid giving answers that contain little more than a link.
  4. Be a good listener. When people post very general questions, take a second to try to understand what they're really looking for. Then, provide a response that guides them to the best possible outcome.
  5. Be encouraging and positive. Look for ways to eliminate uncertainty by anticipating people's concerns. Make it apparent that we really like helping them achieve positive outcomes.